Taxi driver licence

Taxi driver licence

Apply for a Taxi Driver Licence

Steps to apply for a Taxi Driver Licence: 

1.   The Licensing regime 
2.   Policy
3.   Driving Skills Assessment
4.   Competency Test
5.   Taxi Proficiency and Safeguarding Workshop
6.   Medical
7.   DVLA Licence
8.   References
9.   Proof of Right to Work
10. Overseas Criminal Record Check
11. DBS certificate
12. Update Service
13. Appointment
14. Fees
15. National Register of Revocations and Refusals (NR3)
16. Frequently Asked questions
17. Privacy Notice
18. Apply for your licence

The Licensing Regime – General Overview

The principal legislation is the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The purpose of taxi licensing is detailed in the DfT (Department for Transport) “Taxi and Private Hire Licensing – Best Practice Guide” paragraph 8 which states:

“The aim of local authority licensing of the taxi and PHV trades is to protect the public”.

Vehicles used for hire with the services of the driver, which accommodate a maximum of up to eight passengers, drivers of those vehicles and operators of private hire vehicles are regulated by the above legislation.

Any person who carries out Hackney Carriage or Private Hire activities without the correct licences, would be breaking the law and would not have valid insurance. This can have serious consequences for all parties involved, if an accident or incident occurs.

The legislation creates three types of licence:

  • Vehicles (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire)
  • Drivers (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire)
  • Operators (Private Hire only)

Licensed drivers provide a public service. This Licensing Authority will not license anyone to drive a Hackney Carriage or a Private Hire vehicle unless it is satisfied that they are a "fit and proper" person.

This Licensing Authority issues two types of licences for drivers, a Hackney Carriage Driver licence and a Private Hire Driver licence. These are two separate licences and therefore if any person wishes to hold both a Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver licence, they are required to submit two separate applications.


Applicants are strongly advised to read the following Policy before starting the application process. 

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy [PDF, 1.5MB]

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Handbook 1 April 2020 [PDF, 1.5MB]

Driver Skills Assessment 

All new applicants must have successfully completed a driving skills assessment. We will accept certificates that are less than one year old from the following bodies: 

Diamond Advanced Motorists
Telephone: 020 8253 0120 

Telephone: 0121 248 2099 

Institute of Advanced Motorists
Telephone: 0300 303 1134 
Note – all charges for these tests are set by the relevant bodies and are subject to change without any prior notification.    

Competency Test 

Our offices are currently closed to the public and we are unable to accommodate the Competency test at present.  New applications are currently on hold until further notice.

The cost of this test is £50 payable at the time of booking. 

In order to be a licensed driver a new applicant must first complete and pass the Private Hire or Hackney Carriage Competency Test which must have been completed no more than 12 months prior to application. 

The Competency test is a one-hour test, under exam conditions. All candidates wishing to sit the test must bring their driving licence with them. Failure to do so will result in the test date being rearranged to a later date, no refund will be granted for the missed test and the applicant will have to pay for any subsequent tests. 

Candidates are monitored during the test and will also be asked to hand over any non-permitted items before they start the test, these include electronic devices, maps, notes and textbooks. 

Each question is multiple choice, there will be one correct answer and three wrong answers. You are required to select the answer which you think is correct. 

In order to pass, you must achieve minimum pass rates in each of the following categories: 

General (7 out of 10 questions) 

This section tests the candidates understanding of written English. Questions are tailored to common scenarios a taxi driver may come across. Applicants with competent reading skills should not need to revise for this section. 

Points of Interest (3 out of 5 questions) 

Candidates will be tested on points of interest in the South Cambridgeshire District and the surrounding area. The link below shows a map of the South Cambridgeshire District boundary. South Cambridgeshire District Boundary A point of interest is a broad term that can range from a pub or restaurant to a hospital or police station. Revision for this category should contain study of names of roads and villages where points of interest lie. Driving around the area and inspecting maps is the best way to gain the required knowledge. 

Numeracy (7 out of 11 questions)

The questions in this section consist of numeracy questions applied to situations that taxi drivers encounter daily. Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills are vital in this category. 

Conditions (6 out of 8 questions) 

The licence conditions below are rules that all taxi drivers must follow or will face penalties. We strongly recommend that every applicant read through these conditions before applying for the Competency test. This category will have questions based directly from our policy and conditions. 

Highway Code (7 out of 10 questions) 

The Highway Code was founded to promote road safety for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Consequently, as a council we feel it is necessary for all of our licensed drivers to have good knowledge of the Highway Code. The link below shows the most up to date version of the Highway Code and is recommended for revision on this section.

Road signs (6 out of 8 questions) 

Road signs give drivers an opportunity to respond to potential dangers before they arise, direct drivers to their intended destination and inform drivers of where they can park. Images of road signs will be presented in this section with candidates having to select the corresponding meanings. 

Shortest routes (2 out of 3 questions) - Hackney Carriage Test only 

In the shortest route section of the test, each question will detail two locations/streets. You must select the route that you would take to complete each journey using the shortest route 

If the applicant successfully passes the Competency test, time will be given to see a licensing officer. 

Any applicant found to be cheating on the test will be refused to re-take the test within 1 year of that date. This will also influence the outcome of the Licensing Authority’s decision in determining any future applications, as this action will go towards a consideration of suitability and their ‘fit and proper’ status. Any further application is likely to be refused. 

Taxi Proficiency & Safeguarding Workshop

This Licensing Authority is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk. We take our responsibilities seriously and expect all our licensed drivers, proprietors and operators to share this commitment. 

The Safeguarding Course is delivered by one of the Licensing Officers and will cover a variety of topics aimed at helping you in your new role. 

The cost of the Taxi Proficiency & Safeguarding Workshop is £60 and is payable at the time of booking. 

Once payment has been received, a confirmation letter will be sent with your appointment date. 

Revision notes


Medical Assessment

 Due to the length of time an occupational driver (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire) spends at the wheel, it is appropriate to have more stringent medical checks and standards than those applicable to non-professional drivers.

To ensure that public safety is protected, this Licensing Authority requires all applicants to obtain and submit a DVLA 2 medical assessment form (D4) and a medical examination certificate with their application for new licences and renewals

Medical Examination Report – DVLA Group 2 D4 Form

The DVLA Group 2 medical assessment D4 form must be completed by a registered medical practitioner who has access to the applicant’s medical records (i.e. own GP) and licensed to practice in the UK.

Medical Form

Medical History

You may use any GP registered with the General Medical Council, but you will need to provide them with a contemporaneous medical history summary sheet. These can be obtained from your registered GP, and in some cases if you have online access to your GP surgery, you will be able to download this summary yourself.

If your chosen GP is unable to conduct the vision test, you will need to take the DVLA Group 2 D4 form to an optician prior to attending your GP appointment. The optician will complete page 3 of the report and return the form to you. Your chosen GP will conduct the remaining parts of the medical, and then declare you fit or unfit.

Medical Examination Certificate

In addition to having your GP complete the DVLA Group 2 D4 form, they must sign the medical examination certificate that you must return to the Council with your medical report. Please ensure that your chosen GP is willing to sign this certificate prior to attending your medical.

Medical Certificate [PDF]

The medical assessment (which includes the DVLA Group 2 D4 form & Medical Examination Certificate) must be no older than three months at the time of submission with the relevant application.

Applicants must pay any fees to the registered medical practitioner for completing the medical assessment.

DVLA Licence 

All applicants for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver licences must be authorised to drive a car in the UK (for example, held a full driving licence issued by a state in the European Economic Area) for a minimum of one year. 

To obtain your DVLA check code you need to visit 

To do this you will need your: 

  • Driving licence
  • National insurance number

Follow the instructions on the GOV.UK website to get your code - please note that this code is case sensitive and is only valid for 21 days. Bring the code with you to the appointment. 


Applicants are required to provide two referees

One from a professional person who has known the applicant for at least three years from the following list:

  • Accountant
  • Bank or Building Society official
  • Barrister
  • Commissioner for oaths
  • Magistrate
  • Member of Parliament
  • Minister of Religion - a person authorised to conduct religious worship
  • Police officer
  • Social worker
  • Solicitor
  • Teacher or Lecturer
  • Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Office.

One from someone who must be able to identify you, for example a friend, neighbour or colleague.

You cannot ask someone to provide a reference if you are:

• related to them by birth or marriage
• in a relationship with or live at the same address as them

Your referee must have a current British Passport.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the name and contact information of the referee in the application form so that this Licensing Authority can contact the referee.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to pay any costs to the referee (if applicable).

 Proof of Right to Work 

This Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure that applicants have the legal right to work in the UK prior to issuing a licence. The issuing or refusing of licences will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016. 

Your right to work in the UK will be checked as part of your licence application, this could include the licensing Authority checking your immigration status with the Home Office. We may also share information with the Home Office. You must provide a document or document combination that is stipulated as being suitable for this check. Please see the Home Office Right to Work Checklist: 

Home Office Employers Right to Work checklist

You must provide the original document(s), which will be copied and returned to you at your appointment. The original document will be returned to you. If there are restrictions on the length of time you may work in the UK, your licence will not be issued for any longer than this period. In such circumstances the check will be repeated each time you apply to renew your licence. If, during this period, you are disqualified from holding a licence because you have not complied with the UK’s immigration laws, your licence will lapse, and you must return it to this Licensing Authority. Failure to do so is a criminal office. 

Further information can be found on the Government website. 

Overseas Criminal Record Check (known as Certificate of Good Conduct) 

Applicants who have resided outside of the UK for 3 months or longer since the age of 18 years, in the last five continuous years will be required to submit an overseas record check authenticated by the embassy of each country of residence involved. 

This must be translated into English at the applicant’s expense. The overseas criminal record check must be no more than 3 months old at the time of submission. 

The application process for criminal record checks or ‘Certificates of Good Character’ for someone from overseas varies from country to country. You’ll have to apply in the country of residence or to the relevant embassy in the UK. 

Please see the Government website for full details of how to apply and who to contact. 

DBS Certificate (Update Service) 

An enhanced DBS certificate is a mandatory requirement as part of the application for a Hackney or Private Hire drivers licence and is an important element used by this Licensing Authority to ascertain whether the person is ‘fit and proper‘ to hold a licence. 

Applicants will be required to undertake and provide an Enhanced Criminal record check (DBS) certificate for the application to be considered (including a check of both the Adults and Children Barred Lists).  

Due to the role of a hackney carriage or private hire driver, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and there are no spent convictions. All convictions will be taken into consideration in determining the application. 

The certificate should be dated within one month from issue at the time of submission. 

An Enhanced DBS check can be carried out at the time of appointment. The certificate will be posted directly to the applicant. The fee is payable online by card at the time of application will be £49.90 (subject to review). 

In order to process the DBS online, you will need to provide the following original documentation at the time of submitting the application: 

  • Valid Passport 
  • Current DVLA Driving licence 
  • Proof of National Insurance number 
  • 1 x Passport photograph 

Two different proofs of name and addresses from the following list: 

  • Credit card, bank or benefit statement (less than 3 months old) 
  • Utility bill (not mobile phone bill) (less than 3 months old) 
  • Council tax or Mortgage statement (less than 12 months old) 
  • P60 or P45 statement (less than 12 months old) 

Update Service 

All licensed drivers will be required to subscribe to the DBS Update Service and renew on an annual basis to continue to hold a South Cambridgeshire District Council driver’s licence. 

This Licensing Authority will undertake an annual online check of the DBS Update Service for the applicant’s current status. 

Where an individual fail to maintain their subscription before expiry they must reapply for a new enhanced DBS check and register for the Update Service. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online. 

You can join the Update Service at the same time you apply for a DBS check or within 19 days of the date of issue printed on your Certificate via the DBS website.

Registration lasts for one year and a yearly subscription fee is payable by debit or credit card only.  You will receive a notification from the Disclosure and Barring Update Service one month before renewal date.  Please make sure your card details are up to date. 


Once the applicant has passed the Competency test and Taxi Proficiency & Safeguarding Workshop, we will require the following original documents to complete the application: 

  • The DSA driving test pass certificate (new applicants only – must be less than 12 months old) 
  • Taxi Proficiency and Safeguarding Certificate (must be less than 12 months old) 
  • Competency Test pass paper 
  • Completed application form 
  • Completed medical form (PSV, HGV current drivers maybe exempt) 
  • Proof of Right to Work 
  • Application fee 
  • DVLA check code (this can be done at the time of the appointment) 

To obtain your DVLA check code you need to visit


  • Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Driver Licence - Grant - £231.00
  • Hackney Carriage/ Private Hire Driver Licence - Renewal - £126.00
  • Replacement door signage - £15.00 (pair)
  • Taxi Proficiency & Safeguarding Workshop - £60.00
  • Competency test for drivers  -£50.00 
  • Internal Vehicle Notice - £5.00
  • Replacement badge - £11.00
  • Criminal Records Check - £49.90

The Criminal Records Check fee is subject to change as the Council does not determine this fee. 

National Register of Taxi and Private Hire Licence Revocations and Refusals (NR3) 

Information will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Any searches, provision or receipt of information of or under NR3 are necessary to the authority’s statutory licensing functions of ensuring that all drivers are fit and proper to hold the applicable licence. 

It is not intended that any NR3 data will be transferred out of the United Kingdom. 

If you wish to raise any issue related to the data protection legislation, including by relying on any of the rights afforded to data subjects under the GDPR, you can do so to the authority’s Data Protection Officer at This includes submitting a subject access request. 

You always have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Advice on how to raise a concern about handling of data can be found on the ICO’s website.

Frequently asked questions 

Why has the register been set up? 

NR3 has been developed to improve public safety and confidence in Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing. There have been numerous high profile cases where drivers who have been refused licences or had a licence revoked in one area have gone to another area and received a licence in that area by failing to disclose their previous history. This undermines public safety, if there are legitimate reasons why a licence was refused or revoked, and damages confidence in the Hackney Carriage / Private Hire licensing regime and trade. This is why the initiative has been widely supported by reputable drivers and firms, as it will provide a mechanism for ensuring information about refusals and revocations can be shared between all licensing authorities in a safe and secure way, removing this potential loophole. 

How will the register work – what information will be recorded? 

When an authority revokes a licence, or refuses an application for one, it will record this information on NR3. The information recorded will be limited to: 

  • name 
  • date of birth 
  • address and contact details 
  • national insurance number 
  • driving licence number 
  • decision taken 
  • date of decision 
  • date decision effective 

Licensing authorities will then search the register when they are processing new applications or renewals. Where an authority finds a match for their applicant on NR3, it will contact the licensing authority that recorded the entry to seek more information, which, if shared, will then be used to help reach a decision on the application. 

Will I automatically be refused a licence if I am on the register? 

No. Licensing authorities are legally required to consider each licence application on its own merits, and cannot refuse an application simply because an applicant may be recorded on NR3. The purpose of NR3 is to ensure that authorities have the full information necessary to help them reach a decision on whether an individual is fit and proper. If circumstances have materially changed since the decision that has been recorded on NR3, it may be appropriate for another authority to award a licence. 

What if my licence is suspended? 

Suspensions of licences will not be recorded on NR3. This is because suspension should be used as either a short-term punishment or to overcome a short-term situation (for example, driving or medical issues). Where a driver is no longer considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence, the licence should be revoked. 

Can I find out if my details are on the NR3? 

Individuals whose details are added to NR3 will be notified of this at the point at which they are advised of the decision to refuse or revoke a licence. 

Outside of these times, an individual can make a subject access request (SAR) for any of their personal data held on NR3. The ‘data controller’ in respect of this data is this licensing authority, to whom a SAR should be submitted in the first instance. As the ‘data processor’, that is the organisation storing the data, the National Anti-Fraud Network will fulfil this request. Similarly, the exercise of any other rights provided under data protection legislation should be made to this authority in the first instance. 

How long will details be held on NR3 for? 

Data will be retained on the register to help licensing authorities fulfil their statutory duty to be satisfied that a person is a fit and proper person to hold a taxi or PHV licence. These duties are set out under sections 51, 59 and 61 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976; sections 13, 16 and 17 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998; section 3 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London PHV Driver's Licences) Regulations 2003; sections 25 and 30 of the London Cab Order 1934; sections 9 and 19 of the Plymouth City Council Act 1975 and section 46 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. In accordance with this purpose, data will remain on NR3 for 25 years. 

Privacy Notice 

Why are we asking for your personal information? 

We require your personal data to enable us to comply with a legal obligation and review and reconsider your application for a license by way of an appeal conducted by the Licensing Committee. 

There are laws in place, (Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982), that tell us what information we have to collect and keep. We may automate decisions and will inform you if we have done this as soon as reasonably practicable and provide you with access to our Data Protection Policy. 

You hold the following rights with regard to the personal data you provide us: 

  • Right to Access: you have the right to access (receive a copy) of your personal data and supplementary information. 
  • Right to Rectification: you have the right to have any inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified. 
  • Right to Restriction: you have the right to request a restriction of the processing of your personal data in situations where it is inaccurate, unlawful, and no longer needed for the purposes for which it was originally collected, or if a withdrawal of consent has been made. 

Sharing your information 

We may share your personal data with Local Partner Authorities, Police, Legal, Courts, Internal/External audit, Disclosure and Barring Service, HM Revenue & Customs, Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, Customs and Border Agency as required. 

We may process the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to government agencies, credit reference agencies, audit or other external bodies for such purposes. We participate in the Governments National Fraud Initiative. 

If any of the information we have about you is incorrect, please tell us, we are reliant on you assisting us to keep your information accurate and up to date. 

Retention of your personal information 

We only keep your information as long as necessary, for some items this will be dictated by law. You can find out more by looking at the Councils Retention Policy on the website. We do not routinely process any information about you outside the UK. We will not transfer your personal data outside of the EU. We are a registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office. 

You can find out more about how we handle your data by visiting our Privacy Notice. If you have a query regarding your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by emailing or you can write to the Council and mark your letter for the attention of the Data Protection Officer. Alternatively, you can call 07864 604221 or 01954 713318 

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) should you believe any part of this statement to be unlawful.

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